7 February 1812 - 9 June 1870
English novelist and social critic, widely regarded as one of the greatest novelists of the Victorian era. He was born in Portsmouth, England and had a difficult childhood marked by poverty and limited access to education. Despite these difficulties, he managed to educate himself and began working as a journalist in his teens. He published his first novel, "The Pickwick Papers," in 1836 and went on to write some of the most famous and enduring novels in the English language, including "Oliver Twist," "David Copperfield," "Great Expectations," and "A Tale of Two Cities." Dickens's work often dealt with the social issues of his day, such as poverty, child labor, and the plight of the urban poor. He was a popular and influential public figure in his time and continues to be celebrated today for his powerful storytelling and masterful character development.